Frommer's Greece Day by Day Paperback – Mar 29 2011
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From the Back Cover
Map your adventure
Plan a trip that suits your interests. Follow ourrecommended itineraries or mix & match to createyour own. Explore a region in depth or hit the highlights. With Frommer's Day by Day guides, the choice is yours.
131 self-guided tours with maps that show how to get from place to place
Hundreds of photos,plus engaging insights on history and culture
Detailed reviews of hotels,restaurants, shopping, and nightlife
Full-sized foldout map of Greece in a handy plastic envelope
110 maps and 131 ways to see the sights
About the Author
Stephen Brewer (chapters 1, 2, 5–7, 9, 10, and 13) is a writer and editor who has worked in magazines, books, radio, and corporate communications for more than 30 years. He stepped off a boat onto the island of Crete 20 years ago, decided he had found his place in the world, and has spent part of each year on the Greek islands and mainland ever since. He is the author of the chapters on the Peloponnese, Crete, the Cyclades, the Northeastern Aegean Islands, the Sporades, and Corfu.
Tania Kollias (chapters 1–4, 8, 11, 12, and 14–16) is a journalist from Vancouver living in Athens, a good and warm base for trips and stories. Her goal in life was to travel, and, after getting a degree, she did, visiting some 32 countries. She has lived in Asia, Australia, and Europe, taking in a range of experiences—from crossing the Arctic Circle in Norway and trekking in Nepal to canoeing the Zambezi River and comparing beaches in India, Thailand, and Zanzibar. She has worked as a writer and editor for 2 decades, drafting reports in Tokyo for an engineering fi rm, producing books, wearing many hats at a newspaper, running a magazine in Athens, and contributing news and travel articles to major newspapers. This is her fi fth work for Frommer's.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
However, with Greece being such a tourist country, and with every island offering some sort of charm or reason to visit, the book's achilles heel is that it tries to be all things to the country, and ends up with very brief snippets of information because it covers too much material about so many vacation choices. While I appreciated that the book gave you a great overview of where you can visit, it did not give me enough specific information about anything so that I could plan a trip using this book. I would recommend this book as a starting point in your vacation planning, but if you want to find out more about hotels, restaurants, site seeing or entertainment, you will have to consult a travel agent, Google points of interest via the internet, or find a tour book specific to the region you plan to visit. And while the map in the back of the book is a useful tool for Athens, the overall map of the country will not be of much help to you at all. The little maps found throughout the book seemed useless as well. Those maps were small, the print was not easy to read, and the space that each covered was about a 2 mile radius. You would need to do a lot of map flipping and know exactly where you were from one map to another if you hoped to use the book as a navigating tool. The information about hotel options was impractical as well. Again, you would need to take the recommendations this book gives you and search out each one to really understand what you were getting when you book a hotel room, or to know what the true quality of the hotel might be. The same can be true of the restaurant recommendations, which were quite sparse for certain islands, and lacked any real detail about the menus, though I did appreciate the average meal cost they quoted, in Euros, to give you an idea about the expense for each restaurant.
So I will continue to dream about a trip to Greece, and hope that I can visit there one day. But I am no closer to figuring out exactly what part of the country and which islands I want to visit after 706 pages of information in this book.
In particular, Frommers Greece Day By Day upholds the series tradition for impressive design and layout, lots of colorful, tasteful pictures and best of all, heaps of useful information. Readers should note that this guide is a bit heavier than most (indeed, it weighs in at some 700 pages) and the typical font size- I kid you not- is about four. That's just how much information is packed into this guide, which goes into ample detail, but is somewhat painful on the eyesight.
The first two chapters present what the guide's author feels to be the best of all that Greece has to offer and the best Greece-bound itineraries, respectively. Unlike other guides in the series which gave readers one and two-day itineraries, this one sticks primarily to the major highlights and provides something of an idealized, two-week vacation itinerary. Truthfully, with all that Greece has to offer, even a two-week itinerary is simply too short to take in all of the history, culture, ancient ruins (and good food) that Greece has to offer. Additionally, with several ways to see the country (plane, bus and boat), one could just as easily spend two weeks merely island-hopping around the Aegean and visiting various ports-of-call for example, never once setting foot in the rich Greek heartland (that alas, would be yet another two-week trip).
The next ten or so chapters provide useful nuggets on the major regions of Greece, featuring mostly the Greek islands like Corfu, Crete, Rhodes and whatnot; I found the folded all-color map in the front of the book to be especially useful here, as I could simultaneously open it up, refer to it and pinpoint certain areas as I read the chapter on each island region. For each region, given how much is there to see and do, most of the itineraries presented in the book took a minimum of three days to fully complete. Each chapter gave the low-down on the best places to stay, to visit, and to eat, and most chapters had a "Greece with kids" section in them. Of special note in each chapter is the Spotlight section that imparts a lot of interesting information, usually on something both historical and architectural/archaeological that is unique to the region.
The final three chapters provide a bit of information on Greek culture and history, the best special interest trips in Greece, and some very useful tips on the best ways to travel in Greece. Probably the single of the tips was to, if one can, see Greece by boat, preferably by cruise ship but also by sailboat (time permitting of course). This tip makes very good sense, since most of (but not hardly all of) what Greece has to offer the sojourner lies along its scenic coast and is situation among its many islands.
One minor demerit, at least for me, was the lack of a chapter devoted solely to Greek cuisine, especially food and wine. It would have been nice to read at length about the various types of dates, olives and other agricultural products cultivated there, as well as some of the more popular Epicurean exports, such as feta, gyros and a few other yummy delicacies. In its defense, there was one preciously small section on Greece's signature distilled spirit, Ouzo (also known as Raki- lion's milk in Crete and Turkey) in Chapter 14, but this hardly does true justice to Greek food and drink. Apart from that, the guide did a great job of presenting in a fairly straightforward manner most of what Greece has to offer (and yet, still did not scratch the surface of land's abundant history, culture and go-to destinations).
Overall, I liked this guide, and it has piqued my interest in traveling to Greece, which I think I will do by (sail) boat.
The book has some rather arbitrary lists of "The Best of Greece" by various categories like Ruins, Museums, and Beaches. The rest of the book is organized by geography and includes basic information on the main things to see. There are lots of restaurant and hotel recommendations. The authors also suggest various itineraries for each region based on how many days you want to spend there, but these read as if they were added just to justify the "Day by Day" title of the book.
The maps are very disappointing. They lack sufficient detail to be useful to the actual traveler. And although the maps have various symbols on them, there is no legend anywhere explaining what they mean.
In "Greece day by day" 10 of the 16 chapters focus on specifics regions. Each of these chapters begins with general itineraries ranging from two days to two weeks in length. Itineraries are then listed by subject, ancient world is one that always appears in the chapters, and then by location. While the guide also suggest a few travel agencies to help you plan, these itineraries give you the option of arranging your trip on your own or giving some of these agencies a list of what you'd like to see and how much time you believe you will need.
As someone who has traveled a bit let me say that I'd add a good day to any of the 3+ day itineraries listed. You just never know what might come up, what national event or local festival may arrive or even what the weather might do so better to give yourself a bit more time.
The other six chapters offer cultural, historical, and general information for the traveler. One negative is that some terms come up early in the guide that are not fully explained until later in the book, a glossary might have addressed this issue but in general the book does well in giving the reader pages where further information may be found.
The maps inside are good though small. The pull out map is coated for protection but primarily offers a map of Athens with a general Greek map on the other side. As the guidebook suggest, pick up some local maps on your own but I'd add to make sure they are in a language you can read.
This guide will be a huge help to me when I plan my next trip back to Greece because things have changed since I was last there according to the information in this book. I'll have to do the two full weeks itinerary at least.
The book is structured in sixteen chapters, going from an overview of what is the best of Greece, passing over the best Itineraries for different time length travels and covering different cities and regions, like Athens, Saronic Gulf Islands, Peloponnese, Crete, Cyclades, Rhodes and the Dodecanese, Northeastern Aegean Islands, Sporades, Northern Greece, Central and Western Greece, Corfu and Ionian Islands. Then there is a chapter covering Greece's History and Culture, Special Interest Trips and finally The Savvy Traveler.
Each chapter has maps, as well as top tips, best places to eat, best places to drink and best places to shop, costs for attractions, hours of operations, etc.
I have never been to Greece, and this guide was an excellent way of awakening my desire to go there. It is full of magnificent photos and so rich in detail that I felt that I had already visited most of the places. Definitely I will include Greece in my plans for future travels.
This is an outstanding result for a combined effort from two different authors and it was published by Frommer's in March 2011. This is a must have book for those who are serious about planing their trips and also for those who want to remember details on previous travels, while wishing they can return to Greece some day in the future.
Amazon.com was kind enough to provide this book for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not request to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.